Field notes: How to compare insecticide cost between products

By MWI Animal Health

Often when purchasing an item, we think the lowest price equals money savings. This is not always the case as there are many variables to factor in when comparing products and pricing. Let’s make sure you are getting the most for your money.
Person wearing coveralls and holding insecticide sprayer

When comparing two products, Product A and Product B, you need to know:

  1. Percent active ingredient
  2. Application rate per 1,000 square feet.

Product A may be half the strength as Product B. This will equate to using two times the amount of product to be equal. If Product A has 21.4 percent active ingredient and Product B has 42.3 percent active ingredient, the label rate of Product B should be half the rate as Product A. Finally, you also need to make sure you are comparing the same size container.

Now you know what to look for on the label. It is time to decide which option is the better choice. Here is how to calculate cost between the two products. Note: below we are calculating for a 20,000-square- foot house.

Product A Product B
Price: $47/bottle Price: $65/bottle
Size: 60 oz Size: 60 oz
Rate: 6 oz/1000 sq ft Rate: 3 oz/1000 sq ft

  1. Divide the price of each container by the ounces/container to get cost/ounce
    Product A: $47/60 = $0.78/oz Product B: $65/60 = $1.08/oz
  2. Multiply cost/oz by legal application rate/1000 square foot to get price/square foot.
    Product A: $0.78/oz * 6 oz = $4.68/sq ft Product B: $1.08/oz * 3 oz = $3.24/sq ft
  3. Multiply price/sq ft by total floor space and you have the price/house.
    Product A: $4.68 * 20 = $93.60/house Product B: $3.24 * 20 = $64.80/house

As you can see, Product A is more expensive per price/bottle compared to Product B.